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King University News :: Award-Winning Actress Barbara Bates Smith to Perform Sept. 13

Winner of the 2003 Southeastern Theatre Best Actress Award for her role in “Eleemosynary,” Barbara Bates Smith will perform at King University’s Fine Arts Building on Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. as part of the Buechner (Beek-ner) Institute’s Appalachian Emphasis Week.  The event is co-sponsored by the Bristol Herald Courier. 

“We are excited to welcome back Barbara Bates Smith to our campus,” said Elizabeth Dollar, associate professor and program coordinator for Theatre at King University.  “During her last visit, she inspired our theatre students in her workshop and performance. I look forward to another group of students getting to know Barbara.”

Smith is an accomplished actress, storyteller, and monologist, best noted for her Off-Broadway performance of “Ivy Rowe,” a character from Lee Smith’s novel, “Fair and Tender Ladies.” She also performs original monologues, conducts workshops, and has played roles in regional productions of “Wit,” “Hamlet,” “Doubt,” and “August: Osage County.” 

Practicing what she preaches in her “Our Own Stories” workshops, Smith brings a personal perspective in an original piece, “The C-Word: Her Own Cancer Story.”  In a related public service program, she pairs with an oncologist in an interactive format: A Doctor-Patient Dialogue on Cancer.  Other original pieces for touring are Confessions of a Clergy Wife, Once Upon a Stage, and My Own Christmas Story – With Apologies to Norman Rockwell.”

Smith’s King performance will also feature her one-woman play, “Civil War Cameos,” adapted from Lee Smith’s work as well as that of Ron Rash and Allan Gurganus, and accompanied by musician Jeff Sebens. 

Smith received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alabama and pursued post-graduate work at the University of South Florida.   She has extensive theatrical experience, including her Off-Broadway performance of Ivy Rowe, from Lee Smith’s “Fair and Tender Ladies.”  This role led to her extensive touring of best-selling author and Grundy, Va., native Lee Smith’s works. 

In November, there will be a performance with an Appalachian emphasis featuring John McCutcheon – singer, songwriter, activist, and multi-instrumentalist. 

Barbara Bates Smith’s performance of “Civil War Cameos” will take place in the King University Fine Arts Building at 7 p.m. on Sept. 13 as part of the Buechner Institute’s Appalachian Emphasis Week.  The event is free and open to the public.  For more information, contact Dale Brown at 423.652.4156 or visit


King University is a Presbyterian, master's-level comprehensive university.  Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities.  Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing.  A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available.  King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity athletic teams.  For more information about King University, visit  King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability.  King University is certified by SCHEV to operate locations in Virginia.  For more information, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community College, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.